23 1Then the whole group got up and led Jesus off to Pilate. 2They began to bring charges against Jesus. They said, “We have found this man misleading our people. He is against paying taxes to Caesar. And he claims to be Christ, a king.” 3So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes. It is just as you say,” Jesus replied. 4Then Pilate spoke to the chief priests and the crowd. He announced, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” 5But they kept it up. They said, “His teaching stirs up the people all over Judea. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.” 6When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man was from Galilee. 7He learned that Jesus was from Herod’s area of authority. So Pilate sent Jesus to Herod. At that time Herod was also in Jerusalem. 8When Herod saw Jesus, he was very pleased. He had been wanting to see Jesus for a long time. He had heard much about him. He hoped to see Jesus do a miracle. 9Herod asked him many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there. With loud shouts they brought charges against him. 11Herod and his soldiers laughed at him and made fun of him. They dressed him in a beautiful robe. Then they sent him back to Pilate. 12That day Herod and Pilate became friends. Before this time they had been enemies. 13Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people. 14He said to them, “You brought me this man. You said he was turning the people against the authorities. I have questioned him in front of you. I have found no basis for your charges against him. 15Herod hasn’t either. So he sent Jesus back to us. As you can see, Jesus has done nothing that is worthy of death. 161716-17So I will just have him whipped and let him go.” 18With one voice the crowd cried out, “Kill this man! Give Barabbas to us!” 19Barabbas had been thrown into prison. He had taken part in a struggle in the city against the authorities. He had also committed murder. 20Pilate wanted to let Jesus go. So he made an appeal to the crowd again. 21But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” 22Pilate spoke to them for the third time. “Why?” he asked. “What wrong has this man done? I have found no reason to have him put to death. So I will just have him whipped and let him go.” 23But with loud shouts they kept calling for Jesus to be crucified. The people’s shouts won out. 24So Pilate decided to give them what they wanted. 25He set free the man they asked for. The man had been thrown in prison for murder and for fighting against the authorities. Pilate gave Jesus over to them so they could carry out their plans. Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross 26As they led Jesus away, they took hold of Simon. Simon was from Cyrene. He was on his way in from the country. They put a wooden cross on his shoulders. Then they made him carry it behind Jesus. 27A large number of people followed Jesus. Some were women whose hearts were filled with sorrow. They cried loudly because of him. 28Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. 29The time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the women who can’t have children! Blessed are those who never gave birth or nursed babies!’ 30It is written, “ ‘The people will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” They’ll say to the hills, “Cover us!” ’ (Hosea 10:8) 31People do these things when trees are green. So what will happen when trees are dry?” 32Two other men were also led out with Jesus to be killed. Both of them had broken the law. 33The soldiers brought them to the place called The Skull. There they nailed Jesus to the cross. He hung between the two criminals. One was on his right and one was on his left. 34Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” The soldiers divided up his clothes by casting lots. 35The people stood there watching. The rulers even made fun of Jesus. They said, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” 36The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him. They offered him wine vinegar. 37They said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” 38A written sign had been placed above him. It read, this is the king of the jews. 39One of the criminals hanging there made fun of Jesus. He said, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself! Save us!” 40But the other criminal scolded him. “Don’t you have any respect for God?” he said. “Remember, you are under the same sentence of death. 41We are being punished fairly. We are getting just what our actions call for. But this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43Jesus answered him, “What I’m about to tell you is true. Today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus Dies 44It was now about noon. The whole land was covered with darkness until three o’clock. 45The sun had stopped shining. The temple curtain was torn in two. 46Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my very life.” After he said this, he took his last breath. 47The Roman commander saw what had happened. He praised God and said, “Jesus was surely a man who did what was right.” 48The people had gathered to watch that sight. When they saw what happened, they beat their chests and went away. 49But all those who knew Jesus stood not very far away, watching those things. They included the women who had followed him from Galilee. Jesus Is Buried 50A man named Joseph was a member of the Jewish Council. He was a good and honest man. 51He had not agreed with what the leaders had decided and done. He was from Arimathea, a town in Judea. He was waiting for God’s kingdom. 52Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 53He took it down and wrapped it in linen cloth. Then he put it in a tomb cut in the rock. No one had ever been buried there. 54It was Preparation Day. The Sabbath was about to begin. 55The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph. They saw the tomb and how Jesus’ body was placed in it. 56Then they went home. There they prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath day in order to obey the Law.
New International Readers Version® / © 1984 Biblica, Inc. About